Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone
1. Establishing Artificial Time Constraints
The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight, and it is really close.
Humans have genetically survived because of this. This is a strong reason why these techniques work; they are specifically designed to lower the perceived risk to a stranger.
2. Accommodating Nonverbals
Adding a slight head tilt shows the other person that you have comfort with them and trust them. Another nonverbal to try and maintain is a slightly lower chin angle.
A slight body angle or blade away from the individual you are engaging will present a much more accommodating nonverbal.
An accommodating handshake is one that matches the strength of the other, and also takes more of a palm up angle.
3. Slower Rate of Speech
Whenever I have a conversation that I believe is important for me to be credible in my content, I purposely slow down the delivery and take pauses for people to absorb the content of what I have just said.
4. Sympathy or Assistance Theme
Think for a moment about the times in your life when you have either sought assistance or been asked to provide it. When the request is simple, of limited duration, and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance. The compulsion is based upon the fact that our ancient ancestors knew that if they did not provide assistance when asked, the assistance would not be granted to them if requested at a later date.
5. Ego Suspension
Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own. Most times, when two individuals engage in a conversation, each patiently waits for the other person to be done with whatever story he or she is telling. Then, the other person tells his or her own story, usually on a related topic and often times in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Individuals practicing good ego suspension would continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting their own need to share what they think is a great story.
6. Validate Others
This is the simplest and one of the most effective. Just listen to someone can produce amazing results. Where we run into problems is keeping our own thoughts, ideas, and stories out of the conversation.
True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.
… few people naturally use this to its fullest potential, and, most of the time, we don’t realize when it is being used; all we know is we really like the person who gives it.
This technique is quite difficult because of “our innate need to correct others and the difficulty we have suppressing our own egos.”
7. Ask … How? When? Why?
Once the individual being targeted in the conversation supplies more words and thoughts, a great conversationalist will utilize the content given and continue to ask open ended questions about the same content. The entire time, the individual being targeted is the one supplying the content of the conversation.
8. Connect with Quid Pro Quo
In my experiences, there are really only two types of situations where I have utilized quid pro quo. The first and more common of the instances is when you attempt to converse with someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both. The second instance is when the person you are conversing with suddenly becomes very aware about how much they have been speaking, and they suddenly feel awkward. In both instances, giving a little information about you will help alleviate some of the issues.
9. Gift Giving
Great rapport builders and conversationalists use this desire proactively during every conversation. This technique, coupled with ego suspension, are the cornerstones for building great relationships. This is also the easiest technique to utilize, because gifts come in many forms, from non-material compliments, to tangible material gifts. Gift giving, or reciprocal altruism, is hardwired in our genetics.
10. Manage Expectations
Regardless of the situation, whether it is an altruistic intention or not, there is an agenda. The individuals in life that are able to either mask their agenda or shift the agenda to something altruistic will have great success at building rapport.